How to Enroll in the Right Interior Design College Morris Alabama
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Morris AL, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's essential that you get the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it's vital that you carry out the proper research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your final choice. But where do you begin? A number of prospective students will launch their research by searching for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important factors when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account also. We will address those topics and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But before we do, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are available.
Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The key distinction between the two is the amount of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Morris AL can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers normally concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui concepts, Morris AL interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training required to launch your new profession in Morris AL. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of training needed to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are available at numerous Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Classes
For those who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Morris AL homes, there are accredited online interior design programs. Studying online can be a good alternative for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For many students online colleges may be the sole option if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make certain that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the perfect option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Once you have selected the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of assessing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the school needs to be within driving distance from your Morris AL residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices as well. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to get those answers as well as others to help you examine and ultimately pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior designer program and college that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their programs and teachers. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Morris AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. So in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Morris AL program you choose should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will probably need some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It may also signify that the college has a substantial network of Morris AL business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Morris AL schools you are looking at and ask what type of aid they provide. Many of interior designer programs provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Morris AL colleges you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Morris home, go to the school and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior design program you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Morris AL, make certain that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Choose the Ideal Morris Interior Design Program
Selecting the ideal interior design school is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Locating a school where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult job no matter what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are a number of points to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. But it is still important that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Morris AL.